Thursday, January 25, 2007

Red Jersey?

Our pals at Quinnipiac University have been busy polling New Jersey voters over the last week. Yesterday they released poll results, including approve/disapprove numbers for Governor Corzine and the State Legislature. Today -- in its release entitled New Jersey Voters Don't Adore The Senator Next Door, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Clinton Trails Giuliani, Ties McCain In Garden State -- the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute tells us that former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani leads New York Senator Hillary Clinton 48 - 41 percent. That's not all. Arizona Senator John McCain gets 44 percent to Sen. Clinton's 43 percent (a polling tie).

What's worse for the Democratic front runner is that New Jersey's independent voters back Giuliani 47 - 37 percent over Clinton; Giuliani also gets 86 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of Democrats. In a McCain-Clinton matchup, independents back the Republican 48 - 36 percent; McCain also gets 86 percent of Republicans and 12 percent of Democrats.

We know its early. There hasn't even been a campaign yet. Election day 2008 is almost two full years away.

But this isn't exactly good news for Hillary. She should be running in the lead in New Jersey -- given that it has become a Democrat stronghold over the past few years and she's a pseudo-New York liberal. And the fact that 19% of New Jersey Democrats would vote for Rudy over Hillary isn't great news. If that number was even close to 19% in some other states (i.e., Ohio, Florida, etc.) Hillary could be facing a landslide loss in the Elecoral College:
"It looks like problems with Sen. Hillary Clinton's new presidential campaign are cropping up close to home," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"She has established her front-runner status among Democrats and she enjoys positive favorability ratings, but a big chunk of New Jersey voters have negative feelings about the Senator next door - enough to show two Republicans giving her a run for her money in this traditionally Democratic state," Richards added.

"It's easy to explain why she trails 9/11 hero Rudolph Giuliani; less clear why Sen. John McCain from faraway Arizona is so close. Looking more deeply into the numbers, Sen. Clinton is losing Democratic voters to GOP rivals and she trails among the state's large bloc of independent voters. While it's very early, one has to wonder how Sen. Clinton will play in the rest of the country when she has these numbers right next door."
But it's still very early.

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